click to show more information

click to hide/show information About this Show

Special Report With Bret Baier

News/Business. Bret Baier. The latest news from inside the Beltway. New.

NETWORK

DURATION
01:00:00

RATING

SCANNED IN
Annapolis, MD, USA

SOURCE
Comcast Cable

TUNER
Port 1236

VIDEO CODEC
mpeg2video

AUDIO CODEC
mp2

PIXEL WIDTH
720

PIXEL HEIGHT
480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Washington 14, America 11, Obama 6, U.s. 6, Christine O'donnell 5, Pennsylvania 5, Us 5, Joe Sestak 4, Herrera 4, Geico 4, New York 4, Activia 3, Nancy Pelosi 3, Karl Rove 3, Bill Maher 3, Clinton 3, Biden 3, Weeeeeee 3, Judith 3, Bret 2,
Borrow a DVD
of this show
  FOX News    Special Report With Bret Baier    News/Business. Bret Baier. The  
   latest news from inside the Beltway. New.  

    September 20, 2010
    6:00 - 7:00pm EDT  

6:00pm
last night he's avowed marxist and we found out she's a witch. i only have one question, is she a good witch or bad witch, because i never met a good marxist. from new york, good night, from new york, good night, america. captioned by closed captioning services, inc >> bret: president obama tells town hall meeting the recession is still very real for millions of americans and the white house reportedly considers a frontal assault against the tea party movement. president obama campaigns for someone he worked against a few months earlier. live from our studio in washington, this is "special report." i'm bret baier. president obama's campaign to sell his economic policies and save his party congressional majority in crucial november elections took just down the street from us this afternoon to invitational-only town hall style meeting. the make-up of the audience may have been in his favor, mike emanuel said the subject matter had the president on the defensive. >> national bureau of economic research says the
6:01pm
recession ended in june 2009 lasting 18 months but did not say economic conditions have been favorable or that the economy returned to operating at normal capacity. with unemployment still at 9.6%, president obama at a town hall meeting on cnbc did not find a reason to celebrate the end of the recession declaration. >> obviously for the millions of people who are still out of work, people who have seen their home values decline. people who are struggling to pay the bills day-to-day, it's still very real for them. >> with a sluggish recovery, there is a fierce debate over extending the bush tax cuts. the administration is pushing for extension of the cuts to the middle class. a growing number of people including connecticut independent senator joseph lieberman say raising taxes on anybody right now could lead to a double-dip recession. mr. obama is still opposed to extension for those making more than $250,000 per year. >> here is what i can't do. i can't give tax cuts to the top 2% of americans.
6:02pm
86% of that money going to people making $1 million or more and lower the deficit at the same time. i don't have the math. >> reporter: critics say the tax uncertainty is hurting the recovery. >> businesses right now are holding back on a lot of activity, because they see a tax increase coming. if the president wants this economy to grow again, he needs to put an extension of current law in place rather than a tax increase. >> the president heard variety of concerns not related to taxes. >> i'm exhausted defending you, defending your administration and defending the mant ol of change i voted for. disappointment to where we are now. >> reporter: mr. obama insists he's not anti-business. but said he needed to soften the rhetoric in washington. >> it's not just implementing policies but setting a better tone so everybody feels we can start cooperating again instead of going at heads all
6:03pm
the time. >> reporter: he was asked about the key member of the economic team, including treasury secretary tim geithner and chief economic advisor lawrence summers. the president praised them for doing an outstanding job, noted it is tough work but did not rule out personnel changes. bret? >> bret: mike emanuel live from the north lawn. thank you. stocks started the week off strongly. the dow gained almost 146. the s&p 500 was up 17. the nasdaq finished ahead 40. the white house is denying a published report that it plans to target the tea party with a national ad campaign designed to bolster democratic hopes in the mid-terms. steve centanni spells out why democrats are desperately trying to come up with a coherent strategy for dealing with the tea party movement. the power of the tea party was hammered home when christine o'donnell upset the establishment candidate moderate republican mike castle in the delaware senate primary. o'donnell seized the nomination on tide of voter unrest, that according to the
6:04pm
"new york times" had the white house considering the idea of launching an anti-tea party ad campaign. that report said the white house would try to equate the tea party with the republican party. much as vice president biden has already done. >> this ain't your father's republican party. this is the republican tea party. >> reporter: the president struck a more moderate tone. >> i think that america has a noble tradition of being helpfully skeptical about government. >> at a town hall meeting on cnbc, the president said the tea party activists are misidentifying who the culprits are. claiming the difficulty comes from two tax cuts and two wars that weren't paid for. >> there are facts and reality that go beyond the political rhetoric. we're not going to solve the problem yelling at each other. >> yelling or not, the republicans say the democratic party is frightened by the energy demonstrated by the tea party. >> this sends a sign that the white house and really
6:05pm
congressional democrats are very fearful of tea party activists and what their support means if it goes to republican candidates. >> former president bill clinton said he is unsure of what the policies tea party office holders would support but declined to attack the movement itself. >> a lot of voters voting for the tea party candidates have really good impulses. that is they believe that for years and years and years, the people with wealth and power, or government power have done well. and ordinary people have not. that's true. >> a recent american university poll highlights this year's republican voter excitement. it shows the average republican voter turn-out for senate and gubernatorial candidates this year exceeded the democratic vote for the first time in a mid-term primary, since 1930. the average percentage of democratic voter turn-out was the lowest ever. while the g.o.p. average was the highest since 1970.
6:06pm
meantime, the white house denies report it might launch an anti-tea party ad campaign, saying there is simply no truth to it. in washington, steve centanni, fox news. >> bret: senior political analyst brit hume is here to tell us about the one voice recommending that the fellow democrats tread softly when critical of the tea party candidates. good evening. >> hello, bret. say this for bill clinton he is nothing if not politically savvy and he seems to remember what happened the last time democrats and their president belittled the opposition when the country was turning against them. 16 years ago, then president clinton campaigned all over the country against what he called the republican contract on america. that, of course, reference to the platform house g.o.p. candidates ran on that fall. the problem for democrats was the element of the g.o.p. contract with america were all highly popular. the clinton attacks failed utterly to prevent a republican takeover of the house. mr. clinton is now urging fellow democrats as you heard to listen to the tea party movement. after all, 45% of the public
6:07pm
in a new poll out today view tea party favorably with only 35% polling the opposite view. among independents, swing vote in american elections 48% view the tea party favorably. but vice president biden as you heard has been speaking of a, "republican tea party, of extreme candidates." president obama today said it was up to the tea party how they would accomplish the spending cuts they're demanding. most citizens probably think it's up to the people who hold power to figure out how to control spending. how do independents plan to vote this fall? 50% say they lean toward the republicans. only half that number say they lean democratic. bret? >> bret: what about the "new york times" versus the white house? "new york times" is sticking by their story. that they had, that the white house was going to launch the ad campaign against the tea party. the white house is now pushing back hard against that story. >> i suspect that the story is arguably true and arguably false. it's probably technically a fact that the white house is not itself planning some kind of big ad campaign.
6:08pm
but you don't have to look very far to see evidence that the white house is quite comfortable with the idea of attacking the tea party and trying to marginalize republicans. it's a foolish political strategy. but the evidence of it is everywhere. you heard tim kaine yesterday talking about, you know, the tea party ending up like the donnor party. not a friendly reference. >> bret: brit, thank you. one of the tea party's biggest success stories christine o'donnell is now refuting criticism from fox news contributor karl rove and others about comments she made 11 years ago. delaware republican senate candidate christine o'donnell said in a 1999 appearance on liberal commentator bill maher's show -- >> bret: here is what she said sunday about that 1999 video clip. >> that witchcraft comment on
6:09pm
bill maher, i was in high school! how many of you didn't hang out with questionable folks in high school? but no, there has been no witchcraft since. if there was, karl rove would be a supporter now. >> bret: vice president biden rewrites the order of presidential succession. we will tell you about that if grapevine coming up. up next, president obama tries to lend a hand after showing the back of his to a fellow democrat. host: could switching to geico really save you 15% or more on car insurance?
6:10pm
did the little piggy cry wee wee wee all the way home? piggy: weeeeeee, weeeeeee, weeeeeee, weeeee weeeeeeee. mom: max. ...maxwell! piggy: yeah? mom: you're home. piggy: oh,cool, thanks mrs. a. anncr: geico. 15 minutes could save you 15% or more.
6:11pm
6:12pm
we could've gone a more traditional route... ... but it wouldn't have been nearly as memorable. ♪ >> bret: fox news alert. u.s. army base in western texas is on lockdown at this hour following a shooting at a convenience store there. army officials tell fox news it's not yet clear who the shooter is. no word on casualties as of yet. as we learn more details, we, of course, will keep you posted on fox news channel for the breaking story.
6:13pm
in america's news headquarters, republicans need to pick up ten seats to take control of the u.s. senate this fall. one place they are targeting is washington state. incumbent democrat patty murray has a five-point lead on republican challenger dino rossi in the latest rasmussen report race. and wisconsin is another story. colorado, buck is up four points on michael bennett. 49-45 in the latest poll there. in pennsylvania, president obama is campaigning now for a candidate he did not want to run. the president is attending a dinner for pennsylvania democratic senate hopeful joe sestak. chief political correspondent carl cameron tells us sestak is embracing his early conflict with the white house. >> reporter: the president arrived to support democratic
6:14pm
congressman joe sestak despite having opposed him in the may senate primary against republican turned democrat arlen specter. sestak courted latino voters and cast his feud with the administration as helpful, not harmful because it prove his independence from the president. >> everyone knows the washington establishment of the democratic party didn't want me in the race. >> white house chief of staff rahm emanuel enlisted president clinton to offer sestak an appointed administration position in exchange for not running for senate. now sestak needs the president's help. republican pat toomey leads most polls and the g.o.p. hopes pennsylvania becomes one of the ten pick-ups needed to reclaim the senate majority. the keystone state lost 82,000 jobs since the stimulus passed and unemployment is over 9%. half of those polled had unfavorable position of him.
6:15pm
but sestak renewed the pledge to pull from white house. >> they were on the wrong side of pennsylvania and i bucked that party. i'll do it again all the time. >> congressman joe sestak voted for the most extreme version of the washington healthcare takeover. >> toomey, former congressman who went on to lead the fiscally conservative club for growth, cast sestak as blessing in disguise for himself. >> it reminds them that he has been in lock-step with president obama and nancy pelosi agenda of higher taxes, bail-out, stimulus, cap-and-trade, card check, government run healthcare. >> reporter: sestak wouldn't have appear with the president if he didn't think he needed the money. four months ago, the white house pulled out all the stops for arlen specter. it was none other than joe
6:16pm
sestak who beat him. >> bret: carl cameron live in pennsylvania. thank you. they are unveiling a strategy that worked wonder 16 years ago. correspondent shannon bream reports on a new contract with america. >> after months of being bashed for having nothing to offer other than tax on democrats and their policies, republican leaders are gearing up to unveiled a detailed agenda of their own. >> we're getting back to bassics. what makes us a party, what are the core beliefs, where we strayed and what we have to concentrate on to win in november. >> under the guidance of leader john boehner the roll-out is set to happen at this lumberyard in virginia, outside washington on thursday morning. lumber company president hopes that the g.o.p. leaders will push for the bush tax cuts will be extended across the board. >> we don't need to be hit in the recession with a tax increase. you can say it's the
6:17pm
expiration of tax cut. it's tax increase. >> also expected to be on the list of the governing agenda, 20 items aimed to create jobs, reducing government spending and repealing or counteracting recently passed healthcare legislation. conservatives say they expect even more. we must not remain silent when great moral values are being raged. those who have us ignore the battle fought over life, marriage, religious liberty have forgotten the lessons of history. >> at least one house republican congressman pit says he's been assured that thursday's document will include language on social issues to conservative. though it's drawing comparisons to the contract on america, sources say they're different in content and presentation. no gathering on the step of the u.s. capital this time. no signature on the dotted line. just a hearty helping of legislative proposal and stringent guidelines to
6:18pm
reform congress itself. >> tough decisions have to be made and we're prepared to do that. >> we understand that the republican lawmakers will get a sneak preview of the document wednesday evening, when they have dinner and discuss the rollout scheduled for following day. democrats say they're anxious to get a look as well, so they know how to run against the g.o.p. in the final weeks leading up to the mid-term elections that could shift the balance of power. bret? >> bret: shannon, thank you. still ahead, what a congressional race in washington state tells us about washington, d.c. what some hard hats are not doing that could threaten the ro posed mosque -- proposed mosque near ground zero.
6:19pm
[ tires screech ] [ engine revving ] [ drums playing ] [ male announcer ] 306 horsepower. race-inspired paddle shifters. and f-sport-tuned suspension. all available on the new 2011 lexus is.
6:20pm
it isn't real performance unless it's wielded with precision. it isn't real performance everyone has someone to go heart healthy for. who's your someone? campbell's healthy request can help. low cholesterol, zero grams trans fat, and a healthy level of sodium. it's amazing what soup can do. and my dog bailey and i love to hang out in the kitchen. you love the aroma of beef tenderloin, don't you? you inspired a very special dog food. [ female announcer ] chef michael's canine creations. chef inspired. dog desired.
6:21pm
>> bret: checking
6:22pm
international headlines. investigators are questioning a suspect that is said to be a british man of somali descent. dutch state radio says he has ties to the somali military group al shbab. britain military handed over control of volatile district in southern afghanistan helmand province. they have lost 100 troops in the district since 2006. suspected u.s. drone strike killed six alleged militants in northwestern pakistan. intelligence officials say three missiles hit a house and a vehicle today in an area dominated by islamist militant groups they are focussed on attacking nato troops across the border in afghanistan. there has been at least 15 suspected u.s. missile strikes this month. the most intense barrage since they began in 2004. senior american official at the united nations nuclear agency annual meeting invy yesna, says -- vienna says the u.s. will continue to pressure iran to come clean
6:23pm
about the nuclear program. the head of the program says the u.s. agency is suffering from what he calls a moral authority and credibility crisis. back here at home, there is new opposition to a proposed islamic center and mosque near ground zero. senior correspondent eric shawn says that effort could force many blue collar workers to make a difficult choice. >> reporter: hard hats delivering plywood to site of mosque proposal near ground zero but the new website 9/11 hard hat pledge.com is calling to boycott building it. it's the brain child of construction worker andy sullivan. >> i feel it's mockery, desecration of the lives lost that day and to the military. >> reporter: sullivan acknowledges that the sponsors have the right to build but says they should not because it's so close to ground zero. other construction workers agree. >> i would not want to work on the mosque. >> some say they may have no choice. >> would you want to work on
6:24pm
that project? >> if it meant my family would eat, yes, i would. >> reporter: then there was iron worker alan who said he was part of the 9/11 clean-up and cancer the vocal cords as a result. >> i got cancer because of 9/11. >> reporter: worked on the world trade center? >> i was there before the sun came up. it pulled out bodies and i was there for a while. now i have cancer. no, i don't want to work there. >> reporter: meanwhile, group of muslim leaders gathered in front of the building called park 51 to demand tolerance. they are planning what they call a national week of dialogue next month to address the tensions caused by the project. >> we stand by as we said the right of everyone american, that includes muslim americans, to build a house of worship wherever they want
6:25pm
to in america, that includes park 51. we stand here in support because the building of the mosque on this place. >> reporter: the sponsor cordoba initiative did not respond to comment about the boycott. several of new york construction unions would not either. one only saying they have taken no formal position on the project. in new york, i'm eric shawn, fox news. >> bret: we show the dangers of going offscript next in "special report." president obama proves that less isn't necessarily more. when you have osteoporosis, like me, it helps to eat calcium-rich foods like yogurt, spinach, and cheese. but calcium, vitamin d and exercise may not be enough
6:26pm
to keep your bones strong. so ask your doctor about once-monthly boniva. boniva works with your body to help stop and reverse bone loss. studies show, after one year on boniva that's exactly what it did for nine out of ten women. and that's what it did for me. (announcer) don't take boniva if you problems with your esophagus, low blood calcium, severe kidney disease, or can't sit or stand for at least one hour. follow dosing instructions carefully. stop taking boniva and tell your doctor if you have difficult or painful swallowing, chest pain or severe or continuing heartburn, as these may be signs of serious upper digestive problems. if jaw problems or severe bone, joint, and/or muscle pain develop, tell your doctor. i've got this one body and this one life, so i'm glad boniva helped me stop losing and start reversing. ask your doctor about boniva today. (announcer) to get one month free, plus more tips and recipes, visit boniva.com or call 1-800-4-boniva. you know, if we had let fedex office pri our presentation, they could have shipped it too. saved ourselves the hassle. i'm not too sure about this. look at this. [ security agent ] right. you never kick off with sales figures.
6:27pm
kicking off with sales figures! i'm yawning. i'm yawning some more. aaaaaaaand... [ snores ] i see your pnt. yeah. snores ] [ malannouncer ] we understand.® you need a partner who delivers convenience. next time use fedex office. 0 to 60? or0 to 0? [ tires screech ] the quarter-mile, or a quarter-century? is performance about the joy of driving? or the importance... of surviving? to us, performance is not about doing one thing well. it is about doing everything well. because in the end... everything matters. the best or nothing. that is what drives us. see your authorized mercedes-benz dealer for exceptional offers on the c-class.
6:28pm
6:29pm
>> bret: this is a fox news alert. update now, officials at fort bliss in texas confirmed to fox news that's one person has been shot at an incident on base there. earlier reports said a shooting to occurred at a convenience store. we have no condition on a victim yet. we are awaiting a news conference scheduled to begin shortly. stay with fox news channel and fox news.com for latest detail details. now fresh pickings from the political grapevine. president obama is getting flak for leaving out a phrase while quoting from the declaration of independence. speaking at an event last week. here is what he said. >> we hold these truths to be self-evident. that all men are created
6:30pm
equal. endowed with certain inalienable rights. life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. >> bret: it should have read, "all men are created equal, they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights." white house said that president obama went offscript and ad libbed when he made the mistake. first family attended sunday services at st. john episcopal church this past weekend. only the fourth time president obama publicly attended church since he took office. the networks that had evening newscasts covered the visit with abc noting the politics associated with what it called a rare trip. "he hasn't been to church in washington since easter. one in five americans think wrong hi that he's muslim. the president's dismal poll numbers are also a rob for his fellow democrats."
6:31pm
alaska senator lisa murkowski decision to run as write-in candidate is ruffling feathers jim demint lashed out calling her a big tent hypocrite. hurricane emily responded saying it's not -- murkowski responded by saying -- finally, cbs's mark knoller called out the vice president today for comments suggesting he is not on deck if something were to happen to the president. he tweeted, "someone tells v.p. biden he is first in line of succession to the presidency. in remark just now he said he was second. house speaker is second." ♪ ♪ >> bret: in america's news headquarters tonight, a congressional race in washington state. many see as a bellwether in the fight for the political middle.
6:32pm
republicans need to take 39 additional seats to wrestle control of the house from democrats. correspondent dan springer looks at one crucial contest. >> the race for washington state's third congressional district is being watched very closely in the other washington. it's an open seat vacated by moderate democrat brian baird in a true swing district where independents outnumber democrats and republicans. and many pundits believe that the democrats want to keep control of the house, they have to win this race. and win over voters in the middle nationwide. >> what candidates have to do now is cater to, quote/unquote, the middle. and independent voters are very fickle. they vote for different reasons. it could be they like or don't like a person. >> jamie touts herself as fiscal conservative and never voted for the tax increase. she blames the economic woes and 13% unemployment on run
6:33pm
away government spending. >> it's not working. if you're in a hole, the first thing you do is stop digging. i believe it's the small business owner and the entrepreneur that will lead us out of the recession. >> what i hear a lot more often than this deficit is killing us, and it eventually will if we're not careful, what i hear is i don't have a job. my brother doesn't have a job. >> democrat debbie hack is a former state legislature and strong campaigner who highlights his experience in the private sector creating jobs. he doesn't put democrat on campaign signs that paint him as the outsider. and bristles ads that counter his message. >> washington state means leadership, not more of nancy pelosi's failed policies. >> i'm not running in san francisco. the if my opponent wants to run against nancy pelosi, it's like what, 700 miles to the south. feel welcome. >> independents right now will break toward herrera. some will go to heck but they break to herrera in general. if heck can't get enough democrats out this is herrera's race.
6:34pm
>> the latest poll has the republican herrera with a nine-point lead. many believe it's closer than that and could tighten as the voters in the middle start paying closer attention to the people in the running and not the party labels. >> bret: president obama tried to defend his economic style in a town hall meeting. how did he do? we'll ask the fox all-stars after the break. if you are android user you can now download fox news application including a selection for "special report." get the latest news and the "special report" videos in the palm of your hand. when i had my heart attack, i couldn't believe it. it was a real shock. i remember being at the hospital thinking, "i should have done more to take care of myself." you should've. that's why i'm exercising more now. eating healthier. and i also trust my heart to lipitor. [ male announcer ] when diet and exercise are not enough, adding lipitor may help.
6:35pm
lipitor is a cholesterol-lowering medication that is fda approved to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in patients o have heart disease or risk factors for heart disease. lipitor is backed by over 18 years of research. lipitor is not for everyone, including people with liver problems and women who are nursing, pregnant, or may become pregnant. you need sime blood tests to check for liver problems. tell your doctor if you are taking other mecations, or if you have any muscle pain or weakness. this may be a sign of a rare but serious side effect. dean will never forget what he went through. don't take your health for granted. [ male announcer ] have a heart to heart with your doctor about your risk. and about lipitor.
6:36pm
[ male announcer ] at ge capital, we're out there every day with clients like jetblue -- financing their fleet, sharing our expertise, and working with people who are changing the face of business in america. after 25 years in the aviation business, i kind of feel like if you're not having fun at what you do, then you've got the wrong job. my landingas better than yours. no, it wasn't. yes, it was. was not. yes, it was. what do you think? take one of the big ones out? nah.
6:37pm
you're checking out my awesome headband. that's when you find out your cut-rate insurance it ain't payin' for this. so get allstate. [ deis ] dollar for dollar nobodyrotects you from mayhem like allstate. [ deis ] dollar for dollar [music playing] when you take away all the canned chicken broth that adds msg, one stands alone. the secret is swanson 100% natural chicken broth. i'm exhausted of defending you, defending the administration, defending the mantle of change i voted for and deeply disappointed with where we are right now. i have been told that i voted for a man who said he was
6:38pm
going to change things in a meaningful way for the middle class. i'm one of those people. i'm waiting, sir. i'm waiting. mr. president, i need you to answer this honestly. is this my new reality? >> my goal here is not to try to convince him that everything is where it needs to be. it's not. that's why i ran for president. but what i am saying is that that we are moving in the right direction. >> bret: town hall in d.c., upset questioners in the town hall. here is how the "new york times" described this meeting that lasted an hour. billed as investing in america. live between president obama and workers and students business people and wall street to main street reality check. but sounded like a therapy session for disillusioned obama supporters. of course, the rnc piped in immediately. michael steel, releasing this quote. "once again, president obama trotted out the same old warn-out reassurances on the
6:39pm
economy but americans are still waiting for the promised recovery that never arrived." so what about what was said, what was talked about and the economy? bring in the panel. stephen hayes, senior writer for "weekly standard." judith miller from the "manhattan institute." and syndicated columnist charles krauthammer. charles? >> if that is what you get when a group of hand-pick ed members of an audience, imagine what you would have got with a random selection of audience that would have been more raucous. it clearly is not something that helped him. i was struck by the fact nothing new came out of it. but one statement is classic obama that reappears over and over again. he says my challenge is i'm thinking about the next generation, and there were a lot of folks out there who are thinking about the next election. this is the trophy he uses all the time. "the folks out there" the republicans, only about
6:40pm
power, winning election and all that. i, the father of our nation, stand above all this and act only in the national interest looking at the next election. what is so great about it, it's so obviously false. he would haven't been in the meeting in the instance in the first place if he weren't election nearing. he knows the polls are showing that people have a sense he's aloof and he doesn't understand the ordinary american. that's why he had a meeting to rub shoulders with ordinary americans. he shows up at church, which is a lovely thing. but as you know, first appearance sense easter. why did he do it? because he is electioneering, and election is coming up and large number of americans think he isn't a christian. the same with the extension of the tax cuts, not for the upper income. every economist will tell you is a mistake. why? because we have an election. he says i'm the one that hovers above this in the
6:41pm
election, either he is delusional or supremely cynical. i like to think it's the second. >> bret: judith? >> i think he doesn't want to get in the way of the republican party, as it commits suicide. if you have a line and the line is it's been a decade that it took us to get into this mess, two unfunded wars, two unfunded tax cuts, i am starting to move things, turn them around. stick with the hopey-changey thing. i think that he wants to just -- >> bret: you think he is selling it well in this environment? >> i thought today, especially, was very, very effective. because even though he was on the defensive, he was relaxed and he also made excellent points about the need to invest in infrastructure. he talked about the middle class. he said i'm not anti-wall street. which he needed to do. coming from new york, up there, we think he's anti-wall street. >> bret: i've been in that position.
6:42pm
i felt for john harwood, the moderator to pin him down for specifics without interrupting him. he tried to say is he for a payroll tax holiday? not really annens there. what specifics will he do? and there weren't too many specifics. the hour long town hall. >> i don't think he needs to talk about specifics. he needs to talk about the thrust of where he is going and the fact he is the voice of the average american. he is the left wing populist. he would never use the word "left" but he is the alternative to the tea party. without attacking the tea party. he was careful about that today. >> bret: we'll get to that. steve, i'm sure you have a different view. >> i think this is fundamentally much simpler. he is selling something the american people aren't buying. the first woman asking the question said she's disappoint and described the state of the economy.
6:43pm
then he goes on about student loans. here is what the government is doing for you. much of the presentation was given to making exactly that argument. you might think i'm not doing that much. here is what the government is doing for you. poll after poll after poll says that the american people are saying stop. don't do anymore. we're done with it. we don't want anymore. trying to sell something that people aren't buying. that's what we're likely to see november 2. >> bret: charles, one thing we did learn is that he patted on the back larry summers and his treasury secretary tim geithner. didn't say how long they'd be in their current jobs but mentioned them saying they are doing outstanding job. and the tough work they're doing. >> well, if he said anything different it would have been a headline story and heads would be rolling and people look to pages of the classified adds. he didn't want to make news. i suspect if you get a real
6:44pm
landslide in election, like republicans had in 2006 where the secretary had to change the secretary of defense as a result of the unhappiness with policies in iraq. if you have a landslide election in november, the president always has to find a sacrificial lam or two. the way in which he deflects the loss from him and i wouldn't be surprised if it was an advisor on the economy on a way to say it's not me. we will have a change. if the election is really a landslide, he will have to change. it's not something he would even hint at today before an election. >> bret: final word on this, judith. you think democrats, even moderate democrats would be encouraged by today's town hall? >> i think so. he definitely reiterated the themes they think will carry them through november. i think they are anticipating losses. how big will the losses be? >> it's whistling in the dark.
6:45pm
>> bret: up next democrats and the tea party. log on to our home page foxnews.com/specialreport and tell us how effective you think an ad campaign against the tea party might be. we'll be back after a quick break. [ male announcer ] it's ram truck season. and the 60-day handshake lives on, that five-finger bond that communicates trust, honor, follow-through, and follow-up. it's a promise that says go ahead and buy a ram 1500 or a heavy duty without a payment for 60 days. and if it doesn't do everything you ask it to do... bring it back. ram.
6:46pm
6:47pm
6:48pm
there is a general revolt against bigness, in the case of the republicans is always directed more against the government and the private sector. it's totally understandable. i don't know where they stand. but i get why they're popular. >> the challenge i think for the tea party movement is to identify specifically what would you do? it's not enough just to say get control of spending. >> bret: former president
6:49pm
clinton and the current president talking about tea party movement, on a day when the "new york times" had a front page story that the white house was considering running a national ad campaign against the tea party movement. the "new york times" is sticking by that story. the white house says it's not accurate. what about democrat versus the tea party movement, the strategy. >> taking on the tea party would be serious error in judgment. they haven't known how to handle them since the inception. it was a crazy radical fringe and then they didn't know how to pay attention to them. then there were a series of polls, that found after all it's not such a fringe. it's 25, 30, 40% of the american public with even greater numbers identifying with the things that the tea party finds the most important. so then you had nancy pelosi come out and say well, actually, i have a lot in common with the tea partiers. now it seems like we've gone full circle and back to trying to describe the tea
6:50pm
partiers as fringe. i just don't think it will work. primarily because more american americans than not identify with the things that the tea party have come to represent. >> bret: judith? >> i think the tea party is still going to hurt republicans more than it hurts democrats or as much as it democrats. look, the interesting poll was doug shcoen poll of 1,000 voters. that's interesting because they're independent voters. though most of them, 54% had voted for obama in the last election they're now leaning in favor of the g.o.p. but they're not tea party people. in fact, they don't have a positive impression they said of the republican party. they're not that sympathetic. only 38% said they were sympathetic with the tea party. look, when bill clinton -- it>> bret: depends the poll
6:51pm
you look at. other polls say 70% of the population identifies with the ideas and the issues that the tea party is founded on. >> but the democrats are trying to draw them out. where would they make the $250 billion worth of cuts that obama says he has identified as discretionary spending? where will they close the tax loopholes? i don't think they have answers to those questions. and i think that the democrats like harry reid will be thanking lucky stars for candidates like the tea party candidates. >> bret: interesting. charles? >> i think it's completely wrong. i think they are rejecting tremendous energy. as we heard earlier in the show, the turnout for the democratic primary was the lowest ever recorded. on the republican side, highest since 1970. enthusiasm, energy and there was a chance that it could have ended up a third party, like ross perot which hurt
6:52pm
the bush candidacy in '92 and probably sunk him. the fact it's inside the tent of the parties extremely healthy and injecting all the energy. they are part of the coalition. like african-americans on the democratic side, who often feel that they are taken for granted, i think that sentiment also exists on the republican side. so i think it's good to inject their energy and have some of their candidates, some stronger and some are weaker. if the democrats wanted to make it issue in the election, huge mistake. nationalize the election and the only chance the democrat has is to localize the election, which happened in the murtha seat. that is an example how to win if you're a democrat. if it's national election on state of the economy, state of our foreign policy, and the size of government, the
6:53pm
democrats are going to lose and lose badly. >> bret: lisa murkowski, the republican senator from alaska who lost in the primary to joe miller, the tea party express-backed candidate, just told the "associated press" that she knows that d.c. is far too partisan right now and we allow numbers to dominate over quality. i don't think it helps us. as far as the tea party support joe miller she will continue to fight with the write-in campaign. we have talked about this race last week. steve? >> it's so pathetic. that sounds like the word of a complete loser. she has no chance of actually winning as a write-in candidate. virtually nobody thinks she does. i suspect that she probably understands she can't. but she wants to play the spoiler, because she's angry she lost to an energetic tea party backed candidate like miller. it's fruitless for her to be doing this. >> bret: o'donnell in delaware raising a lot of money. judith, she has raised a lot of money on the web.
6:54pm
she did not show for a "fox news sunday" interview but responded to a statement in 1999 about battling in witchcraft. here is what she said. sound bite, please. >> the witchcraft comment on bill maher, i was in high school. how many of you didn't hang out with questionable folks in high school? but no, there has been no witchcraft since. if there was, karl rove would be a supporter now. >> bret: diffuse the issue there? s>> i don't think it did. she has said so many wacky things this is one in a series of bullets shot at her. i think she is a very weak candidate. i think even trying to look like sarah palin is not going to help her in the long run. >> bret: although her supporters and others say chris coons, the democratic
6:55pm
nominee said wacky things in his career as well. >> yes, we heard that this weekend, too. look, this is, this is politics. is this really an accurate test of where the tea party is going to make the difference? is it the christine o'donnell or a state like nevada or a state where you're going to have a lot in play? >> bret: charles, i know you're chomping at the bit to get in on this conversation. >> yeah. i profited mightily on my stance on christine o'donnell. i thought she deflected that extremely cleverly. i thought that she showed some congeniality and charm in the way she answered that. i think the witch issue now is dead and deflected. she has others. it's odded that this is an election where witchcraft becomes an issue in an campaign. i'm not sure it will have any effect. that was a good start for her, i hope. i think her chances are very,
6:56pm
very long. maybe detroit lions long, but i hope she wins. >> bret: there you have it. that's it for panel. stay tuned for an average day in the national news. breakout ss gonna be great. got the gecko t-shirt... "4 million drivers switched!" gecko water bottle... notebook... chamois... gecko: sir, i feel a little bit uncomfortable with all... you know... with all this. i mean, it's not about me. should be about how geico's the third-largest car insurance company in the nation. things like that. boss: oh, of course! we're not gonna get carried away. gecko: uh...yeah... all right as long as we don't overdo it. vo: geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. activia is better than ever! hey, you guys. want to try activia's great new taste? isn't this the yogurt that, you know... helps regulate your digestive system. ooh, i think i'll pass. no, no, no! trust me. it is beyond tasty. mmm! wow! i can't believe it, i love it! mmm, this is really good! new best tasting activia ever!
6:57pm
♪ activia now you can join the fight against breast cancer every time you enjoy an activia. give hope with every cup of activia. lord of the carry-on. sovereign of the security line. you never take an upgrade for granted. and you rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle. and go. you can even take a full-size or above. and still pay th mid-size price. i deserve this. [ male announcer ] you do, business pro. you do. go national. go like a pro. [ male announcer ] you do, business pro. you do. [meow] desperate for nighttime heartburn relief? for many, nexium helps relieve heartburn symptoms caused by acid reflux disease. and for the majority of patients with prescription coverage for nexium, it can cost $30 or less per month. headache, diarrhea, and abdominal pain are possible side effects of nexium.
6:58pm
other serious stomach conditions may still exist. ask your doctor if nexium can help relieve your heartburn symptoms. if you can't afford your medication, astrazeneca may be able to help.
6:59pm
>> bret: finally tonight, there are a lot of bad news stories out there. we know that. we try to sprinkle in some good stories time to time to balance it out. in an environment where lawmakers are really stoking voters around the country, well, here is how it may sound. >> mr. universe, mr. olympia. when you see that though, how does it accept how you grow up in terms of your own body image and what is expected? >> i really look at those pictures. [ inaudible ] so much a man. >> bret: that is the young schwarzenegger and that was the wrong ticker. but it's still kind of funny. wr